So I may be crazy. But I did it anyway.
I started a new pen name. Even worse, I changed the author name on stories that have already been out on the market for two years. There is a high probability that this could turn into a gigantic headache. Nothing lost, nothing gained, right?
And so world I would like to introduce you to the Western story branch of the Alain Gomez corporation: Annie Turner.
Will this help with sales eventually? I have no idea. But it was not a decision I came to lightly. I've been thinking about it for quite some time. I've talked to friends and family, discussed it on forums, etc. The pros and cons seem to be equal in number.
What helped spur me into action was reading Dean Wesley Smith's blog about things authors do to shoot themselves in the foot. One of them happens to be being shy with pen names. He flat out states that pen names help to define reader expectations. You see Clive Cussler and you expect a certain type of reading experience. You see Lisa Kleypas and you expect a certain type of reading experience.
I already knew this on some level which is what started me thinking about a new pen name months ago. It was just the kind of thing where I was still indecisive and then I see that blog post and it was like a sign from heaven.
So my reasons for this madness?
The majority of my Alain Gomez work has been short stories with a twist. All the stories kind of falling under the sci-fi/fantasy/fairy areas. There's natural crossover. If you liked one of my short stories, you'll probably like others because even if the setting is different they will have the same flavor.
My two novellas are basically straightforward clean Western romance. No twists, all the good guys live and there's a happy ending. Not the same reading experience. At all. If someone read them and liked them and then clicked on my name to find more they would be doomed to disappointment.
Another big reason was that sales for the novellas had dropped to nothing for several months. Those novellas used to sell regularly. Time for some life support!
So I repackaged them with new covers, used the opportunity to change the name and am finishing up a new novella to be published under Annie Turner. Hopefully all of this combined will help focus some new readers on the novellas.
To keep things down to a dull roar, I have no immediate plans to go the full nine yards with Annie Turner. I plan to give her an author bio and then maybe a FB page and that's about it. So nothing too strenuous. The goal is to increase sales, not increase amount of time spent on the internet.
So, we shall see!
I still may be crazy.